Empire State Strikes Back

Start spreading the news: New York to ban conversion therapy, enact gender identity protections

Joining the increasing number of states and major cities banning the practice, both houses of the New York state legislature will vote to ban conversion therapy on minors today. The state will also vote on including gender identity in non-discrimination laws.

This isn’t the first time New York has tried to ban conversion therapy. Bills have passed multiple times in the State Assembly only to hit roadblocks in the Senate, where Republicans had long held a majority. Now, with Democratic majorities in both chambers, political analysts consider both likely to pass. Governor Andrew Cuomo has also made overtures that he will sign both bills.

Related: In unanimous vote, Denver city council bans conversion therapy for minors

Conversion therapy aims to change sexual orientation through medically dubious means.

“So-called conversion therapy is child abuse, plain and simple,” Senator Brad Hoylman of Manhattan remarked ahead of the vote.

The new gender identity laws will make it possible for gender non-conforming New Yorkers to select gender nondisclosure on state IDs without the consent of a doctor. Under the gender field, the ID will simply read “X.” The law will also require baby changing tables in all men’s bathrooms statewide.

New York joins states like New Jersey and Washington, and most recently, the city of Denver, in banning conversion therapy.